The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 12, 2013

Hot start lifts Joplin past Carthage

For the Joplin Eagles’ first home game, senior guard Charlie Brown said it was nice to see a large student section.

Brown and the Eagles repaid their fans for their attendance.

Joplin (2-1) jumped out to a 13-0 lead en route to a 60-51 win against the Carthage Tigers on Wednesday night at Missouri Southern’s Robert Ellis Young Gymnasium.

Brown tallied 22 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 31.

“It got us pumped up to see so many students at the game,” Brown said. “We wanted to play hard and give them something to watch.”

Brown scored nine of the game’s first 13 points, forcing Carthage (0-3) to call a timeout with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

“I was very pleased with the way we came out ready to play,” Joplin coach Jeff Williams said. “It was gratifying to have a good first half.”

Brown converted a steal and a layup to give the Eagles a 40-20 lead with 2:54 left in the first half. Taking advantage of its full-court pressure defense, Joplin went into halftime with a 40-24 lead.

“Their pressure really bothered us early,” Carthage coach Steve Ray said. “We knew it was coming. We practiced well, but we didn’t handle it very well in live action.”

Still, Carthage battled to get back into the game.

After falling behind 40-20 in the second quarter, the Tigers went on a 14-5 run to cut Joplin’s lead to 45-34 with 2:07 left in the third quarter. Cole Orscheln, who led Carthage with 15 points, hit two of his five 3-pointers during that span.

“We have great kids, and I had no doubt they were going to fight back,” Ray said. “I felt like we had chance to pull it closer.”

With 2:56 left in the game, Carthage’s Ralston Schramm hit a free throw to pull it to a 56-47 game. It was the first time the Tigers were within ten points since the first two minutes of the game. But Joplin’s Dillon McVay hit a pair of free throws to help seal the win.

Joplin was coming off a loss to Springfield Central in which it surrendered a big first-half lead.

“We need to show more poise in the second half,” Williams said. “We played into their hands a little bit.”

In addition to Brown, Jace Braker and Keiondre Adams scored double figures for Joplin with 12 and 10, respectively.

Anthony Turk scored 13 for Carthage.

Carthage will be at home against Springfield Catholic on Tuesday. Joplin will be at home against Lebanon on Monday.

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